We introduce you to Margarita Álvarez Montes, R&D&i Manager at Refractarios Alfran. With a degree in Chemical Sciences from the Complutense University of Madrid, she has also taken several technical and management postgraduate courses throughout her professional life.

What has your career as a woman scientist been like?

“Exciting and intense. I always wanted to dedicate myself to research and even before finishing my degree I belonged to a research group at the university, through a scholarship program. After moving from the Complutense University
to the Institute of Ceramics and Glass, belonging to the CSIC, my specialization was directed to materials applied in industrial facilities at high temperature and since then I have not stopped learning new things every day in this great world.

In my academic life I met many working women, although management positions were always occupied by men.

This has been changing over time and the glass ceiling is cracking more and more. In industry I remember the early days, when there were no women’s locker rooms, I had to use the toilets in the offices or put a guard at the door
of the men’s rooms, you were “the girl” in a very masculine world, both in industrial production plants and in discussion forums. Now I still count women and men at meetings or congresses and we are still a minority, but a smaller and smaller minority.

My job has a broader and broader focus, where the technological revolution and the sustainable approach are gaining a lot of weight. In my team there are men and women and there is no distinction by positions or responsibilities.